Tor browser finally gets Apple Silicon support in new update

A new version of the anonymous Tor browser has been released, bringing native support for Apple Silicon equipped devices, as well as optimizations for Android devices.

The updated Tor browser uses a universal binary that contains both x86-64 and ARM64 architectures, so can decide which one to use based on whether an Apple M1 or M2 or Android device is being used – meaning Tor should now perform better on Apple Mac computers. 

Tor 12.0 is built on version 102 of Mozilla’s Firefox, which means it features much of the same security improvements and fixes. The browser is focused on maintaining user privacy and anonymity online, promising not to keep tabs on your activity, as well preventing others from doing the same.  

Android getting attention too

Android has been a system that Tor hasn’t appeared all too keen on developing for, with sporadic updates for the browser on this platform, although Tor now claims it is rectifying this. 

In announcing the release of the 12.0 browser, Tor commented the company “have been working hard to recommence regular updates for Android, improve the app’s stability… The next phase in our plan for Android is to begin porting selected, high-priority features that have recently been launched for desktop over to Android.”

Another new feature in Tor 12.0 is the HTTPS-only mode for Android. This allows the browser to automatically connect to websites using the encrypted HTTPS protocol by default, as opposed to using HTTP which is not encrypted.

Android versions also now have the option to prioritize .onion sites, meaning that users will be automatically redirected to .onion versions of websites if they are compatible. These domains were created by Tor to try and prevent connections to and from the site from being traced. 

Additionally, language packs are now available with version 12.0, allowing users to switch between languages on the fly. Previously, individual instances of Tor had to be downloaded for a specific language.

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